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Kurtz: Cracking down fraud on online and without censorship
‘MediaBuzz’ host Howard Kurtz weighs in on the post-Parkland shooting Hoax and fake news’ that have plagued The Miami Herald and YouTube.
I’m not for censorship.
And it is amazing that I need to say that, but it is so.
What I am against is the proliferation of forgeries, false conspiracy theories and fake propaganda accounts, the damage for the individual, for groups and for our country.
When I spoke about this on the air, I quickly heard from people who embrace some of these conspiracy theories, and who threw the accusation of censorship. I confirm fully, and have said that action against Bluff could make and propaganda risks stomping on the right to freedom of expression. But I think that it is possible, without these rights, so long as a series of political views is not unfairly targeted.
The temperature level has of course shot in a row, the Florida school shooting. And now, a dramatic case study from Miami.
McClatchy has a shocking report on one of his papers, the Miami Herald—chill, the, if you are worried about the future of journalism.
Some hackers two fake tweets that looked like they came from the account of Alex Harris, Herald reporter the preparation for honoring the slain students were able to create “. A fake tweet asked for the photos of the bodies in the school, and another asked if the shooter was white.”
Such tweets are designed to discredit the reporter and the newspaper by old-fashioned lies.
That’s not all. The offender managed to “to create a fake Miami Herald story in which a high voltage according to the Parkland shooting to say that a Miami-Dade middle school faced threats of “potentially catastrophic events’ on the forthcoming dates, indicating that a new mass was shooting in the offing.”
According to screenshots of the fictitious story, shared on Twitter and Snapchat, Monique Madan, the Herald reporter, its “coordinates” was, were beat on the story, said: “It looks super real. Use the same font that we use. It has our imprint. It’s my author line. If I’m not a journalist, I wouldn’t think twice about it.”
And you talk about the real-life consequences. Of course, the parents, students and teachers were at the middle-school anxiety, by such a story and blame the Herald for inciting fear.
Technology makes it easier to create fake tweets, fake stories, fake videos, the potential is growing, undermining those trying to get real news.
We have also seen how strong is the evidence to shoot this as the Russians have, during and since the 2016 campaign, with bots and fake accounts to bother to try to push the U.S. policy, first of all, Donald Trump candidacy, and to use the last divisions over the Florida.
On Sunday, Media Buzz, I asked the question, why Facebook, Google, YouTube and other social media are not able to do Websites, to crack a better job down on the Bluff might make and propaganda. You have all acknowledged shortcomings and promised to be better, but one reason is that you do not want to invest substantial sums of money it would take.
YouTube has apologized for accidentally promoting a video telephony of Florida shooting-survivor David Hogg “actor.” A 51-year-old Idaho man with less than 1,000 followers posted footage of Hogg in an interview with local TV in the past year, witnessed a confrontation on a California beach, and the clear implication is that he is an actor, not really at the Parkland high school.
The video attracted more than 200,000 views and to apologize to hit No. 1 on YouTube, and to delete for violation of policy against bullying and harassment.
Conspiratorial stuff will always find an audience. But in an age in which bad actors technology can use to fabricate literally, the news, journalism outlets—including social media-companies that profit from the journalism must be constantly on the alert.
Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and host of “MediaBuzz” (Sundays 11 p.m.). He is the author of “media madness: Donald Trump, the press, and The war for the truth.” You can follow him at @Howard Kurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz.